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Employment status and use of respiratory protection among metalworkers, solderers and welders
  1. Maria C Mirabelli (mmirabelli{at}imim.es)
  1. Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica, Spain
    1. Jan-Paul Zock (jpzock{at}imim.es)
    1. Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica, Spain
      1. Estel Plana (eplana{at}imim.es)
      1. Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica, Spain
        1. Geza Benke (geza.benke{at}med.monash.edu.au)
        1. Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Australia
          1. Hans Kromhout (j.kromhout{at}iras.uu.nl)
          1. Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Netherlands
            1. Dan Norbäck (dan.norback{at}medsci.uu.se)
            1. Uppsala University and University Hospital, Sweden
              1. Mario Olivieri (molivieri{at}mail.univ.it)
              1. Unit of Occupational Medicine, University of Verona, Italy
                1. Katja Radon (katja.radon{at}med.uni-muenchen.de)
                1. Institute for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Germany
                  1. Simona Villani (svillani{at}unipv.it)
                  1. Department of Health Sciences, University of Pavia, Italy
                    1. Manolis Kogevinas (kogevinas{at}imim.es)
                    1. Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica, Spain

                      Abstract

                      Objectives. Reported associations of self-employment with occupational injury and cerebrovascular disease suggest that worker safety and health precautions may vary by occupational status. We assessed the extent to which use of respiratory protection and ventilation equipment is associated with self-employed versus employee status among adults in an international study. Methods. The European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS II) is a follow-up study conducted in a population-based random sample of adult ECRHS I participants. Men and women enrolled in the ECRHS II completed interviewer-administered questionnaires to provide information about their occupational status and job history during the 9-year ECRHS follow-up period. Respondents in selected occupational groups completed supplemental questionnaires about their jobs and use of respiratory protection and ventilation equipment on-the-job. We assessed self-reported use of respiratory and ventilation equipment among 72 self-employed and 371 employed adults in metalworking, soldering and welding occupations. Results. Local exhaust ventilation (fixed extraction: OR: 0.37, 95%CI: 0.17, 0.80; mobile extraction: OR: 0.23, 95%CI: 0.09, 0.60; on-tool extraction: OR: 0.39, 95%CI: 0.18, 0.88) was reported less frequently among self-employed respondents than among employed respondents. The magnitude of the negative association between self-employment status and any of the three types of local exhaust ventilation was not attenuated by adjustment for duration of work per day or week or asthma and/or wheezing symptoms. Respiratory protection was not associated with employment status in these data. Conclusions. More limited use of local exhaust ventilation among self-employed workers compared to employees suggests the need to promote occupational safety among self-employed workers.

                      • epidemiology
                      • occupation
                      • respiratory protection
                      • self-employment
                      • ventilation

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